The Mystique of the Double Rifle – Part Two

In the early 1980’s I started looking for an affordable double rifle in a caliber that would be suitable for big game. Besides being able to deliver the correct amount of energy on target, it had to be such a caliber that loaded cartridges, cartridge cases, and projectiles would be readily available. To purchase a rifle in 40 caliber, for instance, would exacerbate the problem of obtaining ammunition and loading components.

I would have liked to have a rifle my favorite caliber, 30/06, but rifles chambered in this caliber are fairly scarce. Furthermore, extraction problems can be encountered in rimless calibers. It wasn´t long before I encountered a side-by-side double rifle in 9.3 x 74R caliber. I knew about this cartridge and it made my decision to purchase the rifle that much easier. It plenty of muzzle energy for big game and the components area readily available.

First of all, let me discuss the 9.3 x 74R caliber. In Europe they usually denote a caliber by the diameter of the projectile, the length of the cartridge case and then a suffix which denotes whether the case is rimmed or rimless. Thus this cartridge has a 9.3 mm (.366) diameter projectile and cartridge case is 74 mm (3 inches) long. The “R” means that the case has a rim on the cartridge case for in extraction. The case also has a slight taper which also aids extraction. Extraction is always a concern in a double rifle as the cartridge case is not turned by a bolt for primary extraction.
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The case is pulled straight back and out” This cartridge is widely used in Europe and today one hears more and more about it in the United States. In fact, some U.S. companies now make the projectiles for reloading and others carry the ammunition and cartridge cases.

The rifle was manufactured by the company Richard Fischer Jr. in Suhl Germany Suhl (Thuringia State) ins the ancient arms marking center of Germany and still produces fine firearms for those with a taste for quality and beauty. The rifle was proofed February 1931 and thus it was manufactured some time before that date.

When purchasing a double rifle, one must check the information available on the “flats” Remove the barrels and turn them over and look at the marks located on the flats directly under the chambers. The caliber will be stamped at this location, mine is stamped 9.3 mm/74.5 It is stamped with an N for nitro proofed or quite simply nitro cellulose, smokeless powder. The projectile weight used in regulating the barrets weighed 18 grams which is in the range of 285 grams. A box 9.3 x 74R cartridges that were manufactured by DWM in Germany shows a 19 gram projectile with3.85 grams of smokeless powder.

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